Lazy Caturday Reads

Good Afternoon!!

Doris Day

We’ve reached the end of another exhausting week in Trumpville. On Thursday the wannabe dictator cancelled his scheduled trip to Poland because he supposedly needed to monitor Hurricane Dorian from Camp David. The New York Times:

WARSAW — Elaborate military escorts stood ready. Chefs were at work on a grand state dinner at the Royal Castle. A concert was cued up for television and radio broadcast. The annual commemoration of the outbreak of World War II was even moved from Gdansk to Warsaw, where crowds would be bigger.

Poland’s governing party had carefully choreographed a day of pomp and ceremony to welcome President Trump this weekend — a powerful reminder to its own people, just six weeks before national elections, of the strong bond between the government and Trump administration.

Except that he will not be here.

Mr. Trump announced on Thursday that he would remain in the United States to monitor an impending hurricane, forecast to hit Florida next week, and send Vice President Mike Pence in his place. It was a blow to the leadership in Warsaw, which hoped to use the moment to bolster its standing and deflect criticism that it is undermining the nation’s Constitution.

Today, as Dorian bears down on Florida, Trump is golfing once again.

USA Today: Dorian, packing near 150 mph winds, bears down on The Bahamas as it hurtles toward Florida.

As a strengthened Hurricane Dorian bore down on the Bahamas Saturday, bringing the danger of life-threatening storm surges and heavy rain, new tracking forecasts suggested the storm could turn north before hitting the U.S. mainland, and move up the coast instead.

Lauren Bacall

But even as Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina braced for a possible hit, forecasters and government officials warned Floridians not to ease up on preparations for a devastating storm early next week.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. EDT advisory that Dorian, packing near 150 mph winds as a Category 4 “major” hurricane, was located about 415 miles east of West Palm Beach, slowing to 8 mph.

The NHC said the latest track suggested that the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas Saturday and near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday. That would put it near the Florida east coast late Monday.

Yesterday, the dotard tweeted a classified photo that gave away all sorts of information about U.S. spying. He appeared to be taunting Iran and implying that the U.S. had somehow caused the failure of an Iranian missile launch.

Business Insider: US official confirms that Trump tweeted out a picture from a classified intelligence briefing.

A US official told CNBC on Friday that a photo of an Iranian launchpad that President Donald Trump tweeted out in the afternoon came from an intelligence briefing Trump received earlier in the day.

The picture was attached to a tweet in which Trump said the US was not involved in the failure of an Iranian rocket launch on Thursday.

Jimmy Stewart

“The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran,” Trump tweeted. “I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One.”

Iran’s rocket launch failed and blew up on the pad at a space center in Iran, an Iranian official said. A US official also confirmed the news.

Shortly after Trump made his statement, military and national-security experts began sounding the alarm that the president likely tweeted out classified intelligence.

Read some of those tweets at BI. And here’s a thread that explains how much foreign intelligence services can glean from the photo Trump tweeted.

More from The Washington Post: Trump shares potentially revealing image of Iranian launch site on Twitter.

In a tweet Friday, President Trump revealed a detailed aerial imageof an Iranian launchpad, an unusual disclosure that may have confirmed the United States is violating Iran’s airspace to spy on its missile program.

Some imagery experts, examining the angle and very-high resolution of the image, said it may have been taken by an aircraft, possibly a drone.

“It looks like it was taken from an airborne platform, not a satellite,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, an assessment echoed by several other experts.

Meryl Streep

The image Trump tweeted Friday is almost certainly highly classified, experts said, and bears markings that resemble those made by intelligence analysts. They note damage to the facility and vehicles near it, as well as “scorching and damage” on one side of the launchpad.

Trump said it showed a “catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran.” The Safir is an Iranian rocket used to place satellites in orbit.

Trump said it showed a “catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran.” The Safir is an Iranian rocket used to place satellites in orbit.

Trump said “the United States of America was not involved” in the incident, which was puzzling because Iran had one day earlier confirmed a rocket explosion at the site, which it said was “due to some technical issues.”

What Trump shared on Twitter appears to show a camera flash and a person’s shadow, leading to speculation that Trump or one of his aides may have snapped a picture of the image using a cellphone.

“I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One,” Trump wrote, in a taunting jab.

As it frequently does, the president’s public schedule lists an intelligence briefing at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Those sessions are typically done in the Oval Office when the president is in Washington. Trump’s tweet had a time stamp of 1:44 p.m.

Aren’t those classified briefings supposed to be done in a SKIF? And aren’t cell phones banned in those places? Nothing is normal in Trumpville, and the dotard dictator commits impeachable offences on a daily basis.

Whoopie Goldberg

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate: Let’s Compare Donald Trump’s Week to the Impeachment Articles Brought Against Nixon, Clinton, and Johnson.

Every single day, Donald Trump offers up a fragrant, colorful, teeming bouquet of reasons to believe he is unfit to hold the office of president. And every single day, the nation shrugs and waits for something to be done about it. (Really, congressional Democrats take a long summer break and largely shrug, and hope that the election will take care of this specific problem for them.)

But it’s still worth cataloging the specific things Trump is doing that, in another time or place or plane of being, could be deemed as demanding an immediate and focused impeachment inquiry, as Jennifer Rubin also points out in the Washington Post. Because this week alone, the president has asked government workers to break the law to fulfill his requests, and noted that he will pardon them if they get in trouble; suggested hosting the next G-7 summit at his property (so that he can profit); and diverted funds from FEMA relief to his border fever dream. He’s also denying lifesaving medical care to immigrant children he will deport and changing citizenship rules for the children of military families born abroad. On the 25th Amendment front (meaning the “is he mentally unfit for office” front), the president has lied about his wife’s relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, garbled an answer about climate change in ways that would terrify anyone in search of a topic sentence, attacked Fox News for disloyalty, blamed Puerto Rico in advance of a hurricane for being in the path of a hurricane, and generally conducted himself in ways that bespeak grievously low functioning. This all comes on the heels of a week in which he approvingly quoted someone describing him as the second coming (a performance that would have sent most of us to the nearest psych ward), called his own economic adviser the enemy of the state, “ordered” American companies to stop investing in China, and got in a fight with Denmark over a real estate deal gone south in Greenland.

All that in just two weeks. But that’s what are lives are like now.

Elton John

The responses to the increased chaos are to be predicted. Jim Mattis went to work on his brand, gravely stating that he tried to protect us as long as he could, but things are officially out of hand and stay tuned for future acts of bravery™ (or as Scott Pilutik drolly interprets Mattis, “At some indeterminate point in the future, when the political risk has thankfully passed (if it indeed does), I will roar with the courage of a lion at a series of book signings”). Stephanie Grisham explained that he’s just kidding. Senate Republicans are hiding or quitting. And congressional Democrats are still just waiting for a sign that things have gotten Really Bad.

Here’s a sign that things are Really Bad. If one were to consider, again, the articles of impeachment against the three sitting presidents who have historically faced impeachment proceedings, not only has Trump clearly achieved all of them—he actually now achieves most of them in under a week. Every week. As Frank Bowman has argued in his new book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, because Americans have no contemporary understanding of the grounds for impeachment, they fail to comprehend that we go there, and back, on stilts virtually every day. So, let’s refresh our memories. What did previous presidents do that warranted congressional action?

Read the comparisons at Slate. Why can’t we get rid of this monster?

Eartha Kitt

One more story before a sign off. As you probably heard, Trump abruptly fired his personal assistant Madeline Westerhout on Thursday because she said some things about his children in an off-the-record press dinner. I’ve been waiting breathlessly to learn what she said. And now we know.

Politico: Trump’s personal assistant fired after comments about Ivanka, Tiffany.

Madeleine Westerhout, who left her White House job suddenly on Thursday as President Trump’s personal assistant, was fired after bragging to reporters that she had a better relationship with Trump than his own daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump, and that the president did not like being in pictures with Tiffany because he perceived her as overweight….

The critical comments happened at an off-the-record dinner, according to two people familiar with the matter, that Westerhout and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley held earlier this month with reporters who were covering Trump’s vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Westerhout also jokingly told the journalists that Trump couldn’t pick Tiffany out of a crowd, said one of the people. “She had a couple drinks and in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, she opened up to the reporters,” the person said.

I wonder who in the press leaked this?

Arthur Schwartz, a confidant of Donald Trump Jr. who spars frequently with the media, accused Rucker on Friday in a series of tweets of having “burned” Westerhout and of violating the Washington Post’s policies on sourcing.

Marianne Faithfull

Rucker referred a request for comment to the Washington Post, while the other reporters present either declined to comment or referred requests to spokespeople for their news organizations….

Trump on Friday confirmed that Westerhout had been dismissed for talking to reporters about his children, calling the comments “a little bit hurtful.”

“It was too bad,” Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for Camp David, adding that Westerhout was a “very good person” who performed her job well. “I wished her well.”

Trump said he would speak by phone with Tiffany when he reached Camp David, disputing that he had ever personally disparaged his daughter.

“I love Tiffany,” he said.

Yeah right. Apparently Melania’s staff didn’t care for Westerhout, according the The New York Times:

…she also had a fairly large coterie of enemies, includIing some in the East Wing — the purview of the first lady, Melania Trump — which viewed her with suspicion. Some of the president’s friends counseled him over the past two years that she was, in the words of one, “immature,” and was blocking access to him from some people he had known for years….

Inside the faction-split White House, Trump loyalists cheered Ms. Westerhout’s departure as a move that was long overdue, and said they hoped it served as something of a wake-up call for Mr. Trump to bring in more loyalists into the West Wing. But current and former officials also expressed alarm about what information Ms. Westerhout could share down the road, not just about the president, but about her colleagues.

I’ll bet book publishers are already lining up at Westerhout’s door.

So . . . what stories are you following today?


24 Comments on “Lazy Caturday Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    hopefully, Raw story is right about this …

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    Love the cat pictures … Trump’s classified info tweet shocked me as I saw it … reading about it sounds like it could really damage us and some of our sources

    This is an interesting read … I see this here a lot …

  5. bostonboomer says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Unfortunately, as Ron said on the last thread, Cheeto has probably already boasted away many intelligence secrets to Putin.

  7. dakinikat says:

    Former Marine said he’d ‘slaughter’ antifa. The FBI, using Oregon’s new red flag law, took his guns away

    Shane Kohfield stood outside the home of Portland’s mayor in July wearing body armor and a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, a large knife strapped to one shoulder and a copy of his concealed weapons permit displayed on the other.

    Using a loudspeaker, he warned the right-wing activists who turned out to condemn the city’s handling of recent violent demonstrations that they needed to protect themselves against their anti-fascist, or antifa, rivals.

    “If antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I’m going to kill them next,” Kohfield, 32, said. “I’d slaughter them and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out antifa.”

    That threat pushed the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task to take a series of extraordinary steps against Kohfield, including temporary seizure of a cache of his firearms under Oregon’s new “red flag” law aimed at preventing gun violence, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

    • NW Luna says:

      Was this the fellow whose girlfriend was whining to reporters that he shouldn’t have his 2nd Amendment rights taken from him?

  8. quixote says:

    Here I go again, on about the least important thing in the world, but the idea of the Dump, the Lardbucket himself, slagging off his own daughter, who looks about a million times better than he does, just has me in stitches.

    There’s just no words for this guy.

    And maybe I need to work on my sense of humor 😛

    • bostonboomer says:

      And he never even called to reassure her. Reporters asked him about it and he said he would call her from Camp David. I’ll bet he never did it.

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Joanelle, I removed a comment from you that had what looked like resume info. I thought you might have posted it by mistake. I hope I did the right thing.

    • Joanelle says:

      Thanks bb, since my auto accident (in which I sustained a concussion) I’ve had to be careful, to the point of having others check any important documents I had to send out.
      It looked like a simple fender bender, but even with my seat belt on, I got thrown forward and back, so my brain got whacked back and forth while I was merely sitting at a red light.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh that’s awful. But we all make mistakes. No harm done. There wasn’t any identifying info in the comment.

      • NW Luna says:

        Ouch! There is no such think as a “mild” head injury. You are wise to be careful. Gentle hugs for you.

  11. dakinikat says:

  12. Joanelle says:

    Common Cause has been working feverishly to change the electoral college. Clearly there needs to be a change. The majority of the American people voted for Hillary (by over 3 million votes) because they knew Trump as a con artist and if you recall Trump’s bravado during the campaign, he kept telling us “the fix is in, the vote is rigged,” but everyone thought he was claiming that Hilz had fixed it, when all the time he knew that his pals were taking care of things for him; in fact the Russians (and others) knew how to use our own electoral college against us and put their puppet into our White House. We can’t let that happen again. Go to Common cause website and read more.